by Cathy P. Ross
Feb 19, 2013
12:56 PMCulture Cat
Beat the Winter Blues
I hadn’t been ice-skating in more than a decade, but when my daughter invited me to accompany her to the Sports Center of Connecticut in Shelton recently, I jumped at the chance.
There are two skating rinks at the Sports Center—one for recreational skating on the main floor, and one for hockey upstairs (it’s billed as the world’s only double-decker ice arena). There was a feeling of excitement as we headed for the main rink where a skating session had just begun. Families with small children, teens and couples took the ice like seasoned pros. I squeezed my feet into the skates I’d rented, and then awkwardly wobbled onto the ice behind a group of giggling young girls, as my daughter whizzed off. I didn’t remember my ankles hurting so much in the past, but I found my balance, pushed off with my right foot and coasted for a while. Then my arches began to ache, a lot. Hmm, maybe I had the wrong size skates? This seemed like the perfect time to exit the ice and explore the other fun activities here.
On the upper level, high school hockey teams were practicing before a scrimmage while fans watched from the stands. And young boys and girls and their parents were lined up at the laser tag arena waiting to strap on vests with flashing lights, and embark on a heart-pumping adventure through a fog-filled jungle-themed maze.
In the golf center next door, players filled the Game Zone, a large area with row upon row of interactive, video and old-fashioned arcade games. Over in the bowling alley, a dad was having a great time showing off his skills on the lanes for the guests attending his daughter’s birthday party (the grandparents snuck off to the café).
An 18-hole miniature golf course is open day and night, year round—hooded ponchos are available if it rains. No matter how cold it is, you can practice your golf swing on an outdoor driving range with 25 heated stalls (you control the temperature). Golf clubs are provided, or bring your own. This is a popular lunchtime activity with golfers from local businesses and college teams who practice here. You can also take a swing at a softball toss or a baseball pitch from 28 to 91 mph in eight outdoor batting cages.
For those with artistic sensibilities, the Glitter Arts & Crafts Place offers a multitude of projects and classes for kids and adults. I’ll make sure to drop in here first on my next visit.
Classes and lessons are also available in just about any sport you can think of at the center, which is open every day of the year. And a variety of special events and discounts will make your return trip even better. Check for daily schedules on the website.
For info: 203/929-6500, sportscenterct.com.